Model of the fishing vessel DEL RIO, 1936 – New Acquisition
The scratch-built model was given to Paul Petrich Sr. by modeler John Jack Greget between 1937 and 1940. At the time, Petrich was a part-owner of the real DEL RIO, a purse seiner built in 1935 by the J. M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corporation, Tacoma, WA. DEL RIO worked in Los Angeles Harbor in the 1930s. In 1940 the US Navy purchased Del RIO and converted her to minesweeper AMc 19 Grosbeak, patrolling the vicinity of San Francisco Bay. After WW II, GROSBEAK was returned to the owners, and resumed her original name of DEL RIO and her original mission of fishing. On October 28, 1952, while fishing for sardines near Anacapa Island, she caught on fire and sent out a distress call. The crew was rescued but DEL RIO sank.
According to Paul Petrich, Jr. in his article Shipwreck of the Purse Seiner DEL RIO, “The DEL RIO was a representation of the life’s blood of the commercial fishing enterprise then based in San Pedro. Fishermen were recorded in San Pedro’s first U.S. Census count in 1850, and by 1909 the port town was annexed to the City of Los Angeles, in part due to its growing fishing industry. The DEL RIO was an example of a type of boat designed to use a purse seine net. The purse seine was a round-haul net which was set to circle the fish, but it could also be closed at the bottom, like a purse, when hauling the fish in.”